How Big Data Is Changing The Film Industry

How Big Data Is Changing The Film Industry

How Big Data is Changing the Film Industry

The film industry is huge, generating in excess of $520 billion revenue in the USA in 2013.

rating-vs-year

Imagine if this behemoth of the entertainment world could be further refined by taking account of consumers’ preferences, viewing habits and cultural interests?

Big data makes this refinement possible. As consumers publish information and provide a constant stream of feedback on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and personal blogs, studios now have almost limitless information about what genres prosper, which actors are favoured, how films are marketed, and which adverts should appear where.

Consumer Driven Data

An interesting example is that of the ‘Internet Movie Database’ (IMDb). Boasting a database over more than 2.5 million films and 50 million users, the site enables anybody to contribute new material, edit existing entries, and most importantly, rate any film on a scale of 1 to 10. This data can then be extrapolated into charts, tables and graphs about broad categories (favoured genres, directors, actors and storylines) to the extremely specific (most overrated films in Ottawa with a PG certificate).

When combined with other datasets such as aggregate Google search queries, studios can predict how well their films will perform ahead of time – gaining insight into whether an idea is likely to fly to the top of the box office charts or crash to the bottom of the movie scrapheap. Big data used in this way could ultimately put an end to the much fabled ‘movie flop’, preventing recent box-office disasters such as ‘The Lone Ranger’.

Marketing and Release

Films and marketing campaigns can tailor-made for individual geographic locations and their performance can be monitored. There is research that suggests there is a direct correlation between the amount of ‘likes’ a film receives on Facebook, and its likelihood of selling out at a cinema showing. This allows studios to work harder on marketing drives and word-of-mouth campaigns for films that have the least receptive reactions.

It is now possible for early reactions in Asia to determine the strategies that will be implemented in America just hours later, with releases, adverts, and word of mouth controlled in different countries at the studios discretion.

In a Tribeca Talks Industry panel discussion, the example of ‘2016: Obama’s America’ was used to illustrate the point, with the film using a steady release based on localised political trends to achieve a much higher level of success than would have been possible with a standard nationwide or limited release.

Caution

Not all of the impacts of big data are necessarily positive. With such readily available information about preferences and passions of cinema-goers, there is a danger that the quality and diversification of films starts to suffer. Directors and studios are far less likely to risk money and prestige on an untested and unproven formula, instead erring on the side of caution and producing tried and tested content.

As with all things, the data also requires skilled analysis to prevent misleading interpretations. To again use the example of IMDb, several commentators believe the data to be flawed for many reasons. For example, the website maintains its own ‘Top 250’ list, yet only non-documentary theatrical releases running at least forty-five minutes with over 25,000 ratings are considered, and submitted ratings are filtered and sorted in various ways in order to produce a weighted mean that is displayed for each film.

Ultimately, studios who don’t hire people who can manage data sets and then use strong programming and maths skills to extract findings that tell a story may just find themselves making the next Waterworld!

How do you think big data can change the world of cinema? Let us know in the comments below.

By Daniel Price

(Image Source: Bugra)

About Daniel Price

Daniel is a Manchester-born UK native who has abandoned cold and wet Northern Europe and currently lives on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. A former Financial Consultant, he now balances his time between writing articles for several industry-leading tech (CloudTweaks.com & MakeUseOf.com), sports, and travel sites and looking after his three dogs.

Find out more
View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

The True Power And Potential Of Wearables

The True Power And Potential Of Wearables

The Power of Wearables The potential of wearable computing for efficiency and innovation is enormous. For business leaders and CIOs, wearable technology represents an opportunity to find more intelligent solutions to real problems and to leverage these devices for the benefit of the organization. But before wearables can successfully realize these expectations, there remain basic…

Are You Sure You Are Ready For The Cloud?: Cloud as a Datacenter

Are You Sure You Are Ready For The Cloud?: Cloud as a Datacenter

Cloud as a Datacenter Through my job as a Cloud Architect during the day, I run into a lot of scenarios that I think would be important to write about. Not that they are of major importance to others, but a way for people to learn from real world experience. This month, it had to…

The Implication Of Consumers Not Having Their Heads In The Cloud

The Implication Of Consumers Not Having Their Heads In The Cloud

Customers CAN Better Protect Themselves The majority of cloud consumers don’t understand what cloud is let alone what the implications of transacting in the cloud or of having their data and digital assets stored in the cloud. As a result most consumers are their own worst enemy when it comes to putting themselves at risk…

Risks Of Virtualization In Public And Private Clouds

Risks Of Virtualization In Public And Private Clouds

Risks Of Virtualization Server virtualization is one of the cornerstone technologies of the cloud. The ability to create multiple virtual servers that can run any operating system on a single physical server has a lot of advantages. These advantages can appear in public, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), as well as in private clouds. However,…

5 Reasons Why Your Startup Will Grow Faster In The Cloud

5 Reasons Why Your Startup Will Grow Faster In The Cloud

Cloud Startup Fast-tracking Start-ups face many challenges, the biggest of which is usually managing growth. A start-up that does not grow is at constant risk of failure, whereas a new business that grows faster than expected may be hindered by operational constraints, such as a lack of staff, workspace and networks. It is an unfortunate…

The Internet of Things And The Knowledge Revolution

The Internet of Things And The Knowledge Revolution

The Knowledge Revolution Think about a few things in your life right now. It really doesn’t matter what they are, as long as you interact with them daily. They could be your phone, your shoes, your watch, your car, your refrigerator, your garage door opener…you get the idea. What do all of these things have…

Are You SURE You Are Ready For The Cloud?: Security of Business

Are You SURE You Are Ready For The Cloud?: Security of Business

Cloud Business Security Last month I went into the financial side of moving to the cloud. This month I am going to focus on the other main reason I have seen customers migrate to the cloud: Security of business. When I say security, I do not mean username and passwords, but a stability of the environment…

CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, infosec, big data and the internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Advertising